A car accident, workplace injury, or any other personal injury can be life-altering. Depending on the severity of the injuries, recoveries can take months or years and sometimes have no set improvement date, meaning career and social life change.
It is natural after sustaining an injury, psychological or physical, you would want to wait until you were fully evaluated and healed before considering a lawsuit to seek compensation. Whether your reasoning is purely out of respect for your healing process or because you want a finite number for damages, you might need to reconsider waiting.
Statute of Limitations
Depending on where you live and the type of accident, you might have less than two years to file a claim. In general, most states provide a statute of limitations of two years on person injury lawsuits, meaning you have 730 days to sue the at-fault party for compensation.
While that might sound like a lot of time, it is not a specific number for all states or all accidents. For example, in some jurisdictions, if you are injured while riding government-funded transportation, you might only have a few months to make a claim.
Exceptions to the Rule
If an individual is incapacitated because of an accident, a judge can allow a family member to file a claim on their behalf, especially if the two-year deadline is approaching. However, the exception is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, so there are no guarantees.
Additionally, if a minor is injured during an accident, they might have more time to file a claim. Most states with the two-year statute specify it as a rule for people of legal age or 18. If a child of 14 receives an injury in an accident, they should have the four years until their 18th birthday and the two years provided by the statute, meaning they will have six years to file a claim against the at-fault party.
Legal Advice and Intervention
Before filing any lawsuit in a personal injury claim, it is best to talk to a personal injury lawyer like one from Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. They can often provide insight into the likely success of the claim, and they can intervene on your behalf to argue for more time or other case specifics.
If you would like to learn more about the personal injury process or about specific statutes in your state, contact a local attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation.